According to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, it is unlawful for any employer to knowingly hire a worker who is not authorized to work in this country.
As an employer, you will need to know how to recognize immigrant documents that provide the legal proof that a person is work-authorized. It is important to remember that immigrants can be work authorized even if they do not have a green card. The I-9 form clearly lists those documents that employers may use as verification for employee eligibility. However, it is up to the potential employee - not the employer - to select which documents they would like to use. Access the I-9 form (PDF, requires Adobe Reader).
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits job discrimination against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and the following classes of aliens who are work authorized: permanent residents, temporary residents (that is, individuals who have gone through the legalization program), refugees, and asylees. Employers can demonstrate compliance with the law by following the verification process (I-9 form) requirements and treating all new employees equally. This includes establishing a policy that is non-discriminatory and which ensures that only individuals who are work-authorized may be legally employed.
Visit the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services website for more information about hiring immigrants and frequently asked questions as an employer.